Veneers on your teeth work like laminates work on your wooden doors and windows. Veneers are glued on to your discolored or deformed teeth. They are like a cover-up but not a permanent solution. At best, veneers last about ten years without any damage.
There are certain factors which determine the longevity of veneers and they are stain resilience, fracture toughness, anti-wear properties, and breakage threshold. Veneers that score well on all these parameters last longer than a decade.
You play a vital role in the maintenance of your veneers so that they last longer. Let’s dive into the details about the longevity of veneers.
What are veneers and how do dentists place them?
Veneers are a laminate cover on top of your front teeth. These are shell-like casings that only cover the front side of the teeth. They are the same color as your natural teeth. Your dentist fabricates veneers in a dental lab.
The dentist first cuts and prepares your teeth to receive the veneers. Then your dentist will make an impression and develop a cast out of it. He then puts bonding material which is resins on top of the areas to be veneered.
The final output of veneers is ready in one day. Your dentist glues your veneers onto your natural teeth with the help of a bonding agent which is a high strength dental adhesive. Curing with a UV light finally fixes your veneers permanently on your natural teeth. (1)
Types of dental bonding
Tooth bonding is a technique which places veneers on your teeth. There are two types of tooth bonding as veneers and composite bonding.
Composite bonding is comparatively weaker and prone to fracture compared to veneers. Also, veneers are more expensive than composite.
Why go for veneers?
You may want to go for veneering for one or more of the following problems –
- Crooked teeth
- Yellow teeth
- Brown spots on teeth
- Small or malformed teeth
- Gaps between teeth
Parameters to judge the longevity of veneers
There are various grounds based on which you can judge the life of a bonding. These parameters are –
As far as stain resistance is concerned, veneers are entirely staining resistant as long as you brush them twice daily and limit consumption of stain-inducing beverages like tea, coffee, and wine.
On the other hand, composites are more susceptible to staining being of inferior fabrication compared to that of Veneers.
Veneer and composite replace our outer enamel. Enamel is known to be the hardest inorganic substance in the human body which covers our teeth. It is meant to take up all the wear and tear of our teeth.
Veneers are more wear resistant than composite because of harder material. Veneers will not wear before a decade unless you are biting tough substances like apricots on a daily basis. (2)
Veneers are highly fragile. If they face trauma from direct trauma, they will fracture immediately.
Detachment or breakage threshold
Veneers are attached to the teeth with the help of powerful dental adhesive known as a bonding agent. But a powerful blow, accident or trauma, on veneers can dislodge or detach them from the underlying natural teeth.
Having said this, veneering is near a permanent procedure and it can only be removed by a dentist. Good quality veneers have a high breakage threshold.
How long do veneers last?
Veneers can last more than a decade if your dentist uses the high-quality material. The material should qualify well on all the above-mentioned parameters.
If you are careful with your food habits and maintain good oral hygiene, then you may prolong the life of your veneers.
Tips to maintain veneers for increasing the longevity
Veneers are much more fragile than natural teeth. So, taking their care will help them last for over a decade. On the other hand, if not taken care of, either veneer or the natural teeth will fracture.
Irreversibility of veneering is a downside of having them. It is a permanent, irreversible procedure. Veneers last longer than composites, and also they are more expensive for the same reason. Generally, even with little care, veneers last a decade. (3)
Life of veneers prolongs only with the help of a skilled dentist because it depends on how well and how deep have the natural teeth cut. But there are a few things which you can do from our end to prolong the life of a veneer and they are-
- Avoid stain-inducing beverages like tea, coffee, red wine, and other substances that can stain the resin used in bonding.
- Practice good oral hygiene to keep your newly bonded teeth good for long. It is essential to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft bristle brush and use an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Avoid habits like nail-biting, chewing on hard substances or food.
- Wearing mouth guards is advisable if you have teeth grinding habit or if you are a sports person to avoid trauma.
Final words on the longevity of Veneers
Veneering is a skill sensitive dental procedure and the longevity of veneers depends on how well your dentist does it. Even if he places them correctly, veneers are fragile and are prone to the risk of fracture and chipping off more than natural teeth.
Therefore, post-treatment care is vital to make sure that they last longer. Also, good material and skilled hands make veneers last a decade without trouble.
It is also essential to maintain good oral hygiene as a veneer is an artificial structure which harbors bacteria. Bacteria can cause complications like gum swelling and bad mouth odor.
So, brush twice daily with a soft bristle brush, avoid biting on hard substances and avoid colored beverages to increase the longevity of your veneers.